Liquigas is preparing for the upcoming Milano-Sanremo on Saturday as well as the Giro d'Italia in May. For Saturday the team announced it would make Daniele Bennati the captain. Ivan Basso and Franco Pellizotti will do reconnaissance rides of some of the Giro stages, ahead of their domestiques role in Milano-Sanremo.
Team Manager Roberto Amadio explained Liquigas's tactics for the 298-kilometre monument Milano-Sanremo. "Daniele will be supported by seven teammates throughout. Aleksandr Kuschynski and Alessandro Vanotti will be responsible for setting a good rhythm and reel in the early breakaways."
In the second phase of the race, starting with the climb up to Manie, the super domestiques will come to the front. "Ivan Basso, Vincenzo Nibali and Franco Pellizotti are our men to lead that part of the race."
Amadio has all confidence in Bennati. "He can withstand the surges on the short climbs. In the end we hope that we can stop the breaks from the puncheurs and for Murilo Fischer and Fabio Sabatini to support Daniele in the sprint."
Basso and Pozzato to Vesuvio
Basso and Pozzato will prepare for their helper role by scouting out two key stages of the Giro d'Italia, rather than the Poggio. The two captains for the three-week stage race (May 9-30) will ride the last 80 kilometres of stage 16 to Monte Petrano on Wednesday. On Thursday the duo will ride up the Mount Vesuvio, the final big climb of the 92nd Giro d'Italia.
Basso has already used Tirreno-Adriatico as preparation for the Giro. "I made a big leap forward with regards to the Giro. The goal was to bring Nibali to victory and in the stage to Camerino we came close. Vincenzo is one of the young ones with the most prospects and, with a bit more experience, could have gotten the victory."
Nibali attacked the four-man lead group, with Michele Scarponi (Serramenti PVC) and Stefano Garzelli (Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo) besides the two Liquigas riders, before the final climb to Camerino, but was caught with less than ten kilometres remaining.
Basso was happy to see his form improving. "I was working for the team and I think I have shown that I can return to the top. I wanted to rekindle the passion for the fans through brave riding." Basso was very pleased with his week at Tirreno-Adriatico. "And now, Sanremo!" he said.